|COMMON NAME||Bear’s Breeches|
|BOTANICAL NAME *||Acanthus mollis|
|SIZE||HT 2.5-3’ , SP 3’-4’|
|FOLIAGE||Glossy dark green leaves that are quite large, about 18” long and 12” wide. The foliage on this perennial should be cut back to about 3” HT when it goes dormant in the fall. New foliage will emerge from the ground in the spring.|
|FLOWER||2-3’ spike of dusty purple and white flowers emerging above the foliage in mid-summer. Quite showy. The flowers persist for a long time, usually at least 4 weeks.|
|GROWING CONDITIONS||Well drained soil. Full Sun to Light Shade. Maryland is on the northern cusp for this plant, therefore it should have some protection from winter winds. You may need to layer pine branches over the root masses during the winter months for added insulation.|
|FAVORITE CULTIVARS||Other varieties worth trying, especially since they will more easily tolerate our winters:
Acanthus hungaricus Zone 5-7. Light Shade. The foliage is medium green, and only 18-24” HT. Acanthus spinosus Zone 5-7. Light Shade. This plant has dark green, deeply divided foliage with sharp points, and is 2.5-3’ HT.
|NOTES||Deer resistant. Acanthus mollis is significant enough that a single plant can make a huge impact. Acanthus hungaricus and Acanthus spinosus are best when in a group of at least 3.|
* A particular plant will have only 1 botanical name. Unfortunately, a particular plant may have several common names or it may share a common name with another plant. Whenever possible, use the botanical name.